Match between SL and NZ raised curiosity and interest in many cricket fans as both teams have proved time and again in WC2007 that they are one of tough teams so far.Does NZ deserve to be the top of the super eights points table? They have not beaten a good contender until this point and previously that they won against out of form teams – England, Bangladesh, West Indies and Ireland.
But NZ is a committed team like team with no real big stars but committed players.NZ will surely put up a fight against mighty Srilanka team and not choke.Before the game, Based on pitch conditions that If NZ can score around 230 plus and knock of Jayasurya early in the game then game in in favor of NZ.
Styris just needing 43 runs for 3000 one day runs exceeded expectations and proved again his golden form.Styris came in at 4/2 and stayed for the rest of innings in anchor role of getting 111 runs out of 157 balls. Look at NZ partnership between Fulton and Styris, within no time they have put on 31 runs with singles.This is where NZ team is getting very very good at like putting runs in single and using middle overs rather than depending on powerplay.
First ball of Murali – Mccullum LBW, Mccullum seems to be not happy with the decision.Murali has been cleared thrice or more by ICC because of his bowling action though if he is or NOT a chucker,He gives good break to Sri Lanka when needed.If Oram (See Pic to left along with Styris) had stayed little longer, NZ would have got 240 on scoreboard.Good innings from styris under the circumstances but still he should have made scoreboard tick a bit in slog overs.
Even though there were many duck outs and single digits on board,NZ pulled a RR of 4.3 which is good after a very bad start.If they had gotten 2 or 3 wickets within first 10 overs…they would have won this match.
The Sri Lankans kept things tight and raised the bar higher and even higher making it too difficult for the Kiwis to keep the scoreboard ticking.Knowing Lankans will never crumble under pressure and proved again in this match that they are good run chasers.As to every one’s guess NZ will not give this match away without a fight.Srilanka never gave a chance when NZ bowling spell even ball got softer and harder to hit.Bond catches a stunner from Tharanga as the ball flew to him realy fast good timing catch but this early wicket is not banked well by NZ.The foundation laid by Jaya Surya (see pic to the right) made things difficult for NZ.NZ by now knows that dropping catches is like dropping a match, Jayasurya was dropped on 30 by Flemming.
Rest of the innings for Sri Lanka is a breeze with Sangakkara playing anchor role.
BCCI, Team India and Indian fans should take this lesson about senior players see Vaas, Jaya Surya and Murali all proved that they are in the Sri Lanka team because of their performances and not because of what they did in past for Sri Lanka team.